PROVO, Utah – Another double-double from Eric Mika and balanced scoring pushed BYU basketball to a 99-70 win over the Pepperdine Waves Thursday night in the Marriott Center.
“I thought it was a great effort by our guys tonight," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "I thought that we were aggressive, we were really unselfish and we shared the ball. I think that this win is good for our psyche and confidence now that we understand the challenge of turning this thing around and playing another road game."
Mika had a double-double for the sixth straight game with 22 points and 10 rebounds, along with two blocks. It was his 12th double-double of the year.
Fellow sophomores Elijah Bryant and Nick Emery also reached double figures in scoring with 15 and 10 points, respectively. Senior L.J. Rose was the fourth member of the team to hit double digits in scoring with 10 points to go with his five rebounds and three assist. To lead all players, Yoeli Childs grabbed 14 rebounds. Additionally, he had eight points and two blocks.
After both teams had a pair of empty possessions to start the game, Rose stole the ball and dished it out to Emery for a 3-pointer for the first bucket of the game with 18:35 on the clock. After trading baskets, Pepperdine went on a quick 6-2 run to get up 10-7 with 15:52 left in the first half.
Coming out of a timeout, Mika made a couple of layups to spark the team. Emery drove to the basket for two to get back on top, 13-12, with 12:36 until halftime.
The game was tied 14-14 with 11:21 to go, but BYU took the lead with a jumper from Bryant and never looked back. Starting with Mika’s and-one at the 6:34 mark, the Cougars scored 10 unanswered points over two minutes to push the lead to 38-27.
Starting in the run, BYU went 12 of 12 from the field. To finish the first half, the Cougars scored six straight, capped off with a layup from Corbin Kaufusi to make it 51-35 at the break.
BYU’s first few points in the second half were free throws. The first field goal was Childs dishing to Mika for the layup. Haws drove to the basket at the 17:50 mark for the Cougars’ first 20-point lead, 58-38.
Behind a 12-1 run stat kicked off with treys from Emery and Bryant, BYU kept rolling to a 78-48 lead. With 11:35 left to play, the Cougars led by 30 for the first time in the game.
At the 7:55 mark, Colby Leifson came off the bench and drilled a shot from beyond the arc to keep up the lead, 88-57. From then on out, a solid team effort was able to keep the game out of the Waves' reach. Braiden Shaw hit the last two buckets of the game in the last two minutes to reach the final 99-70 result.
The Cougars continue WCC play on the road this Saturday at Pacific. The two teams tip off at 3 p.m. PST in the Alex G. Spanos Center. The game will be televised on ROOT NW and CSN Bay Area. Radio options will also be available on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM and BYU Radio – Sirius XM 143. A live video stream will also be available on TheW.tv.